3 Ways to Improve Energy with Nutrition
Hi everybody. Today, we're talking about three ways to improve your energy using nutrition. And there are a lot of things that can affect your energy. I get it. But today we're just focusing on three big nutrition pieces. We're going to talk about this and something you might be drinking that could be affecting your energy.
We're going to talk about the mitochondria, what that is, and why they are important. I'm going to show you some charts and what foods support the mitochondria. We're going to talk about hormones, and I think you're going to get a lot out of this video.
So I'm Ashley Oswald, I'm a functional medicine, a dietitian specializing in gut health, and the founder of Oswald Digestive Clinic where we help people improve and eliminate bothersome gut issues like gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and more. If you want to become a client at our clinic, schedule an appointment with us or you can start just by downloading our Free Guide: 5 ways to improve gut health. So without further ado, let's dive right in and talk about ways to improve your energy.
3 Ways to Improve Energy with Nutrition
Support your mitochondria
So number one is to support your mitochondria. The human body has trillions of mitochondria they're in the cells, which are the basic building blocks of the body. You can think of the body as a lego house.
At each Lego is a cell and inside each of those cells is a mitochondria and then healthy mitochondria are needed for the production of neurochemicals, like dopamine and serotonin. So another way of saying that is if your mitochondria is unhealthy, you can be experiencing fatigue and depression, and other mood swings.
So you might remember the citric acid cycle, otherwise known as the Krebs cycle from grade school, probably high school. And this is the whole cascade of how you turn fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, and into ATP, which is energy.
And so I'm going to show you a picture of that here because I want you to see it all, the many nutrients we need to support this energy production cycle.
And so the food categories that you're going to want to focus on for this include foods rich in iron and carnitine and magnesium and B vitamins and CoQ10, and by eating a real whole foods eating plan, you're going to be more likely to be getting enough of those nutrients that you need.
However, sometimes your body might have increased demand. As we've talked about in other videos, if you're undergoing a lot of chronic stress, your body might be using that more magnesium. And this is a reason why a lot of people do have low magnesium stores.
So doing micronutrient testing is usually helpful so we can megadose replays for about four to six months. Our clinic can help with that if you're interested. Foods that are rich in nutrients include meats, you can be careful where you are sourcing.
So it's really good quality meats, especially organs. So like having liver once or twice a week can really help with that. Iron can help with that CoQ10 and that carnitine. Magnesium, you're going to get from nuts and seeds and green leafy vegetables and beans.
And then B vitamins come from a variety of different plant foods. So you can think of making half your plates, plants. And if you are following a no meat eating plan, you might want to touch base with our clinic about that because you might be at risk for having low levels of certain nutrients depending upon honestly, your genetics.
Some people do fine eating vegan for many years. I was vegetarian, mostly vegan for about seven years in my twenties and ended up feeling terrible and had to incorporate meat again because my body needed, those nutrients that I just was not able to get. And it was not working a hundred percent to just try to supplement those pieces. And likely based upon my Northern European genetics.
Supporting your thyroid properly
So number two, a nutrition way to improve energy will be supporting your thyroid properly. I'm going to show a graph for this as well, and you can see it and this whole thyroid hormone cascade, and it requires different lifestyle, and nutrition adjustments to make sure that these hormones are properly getting converted into their active form.
And interestingly, thyroid hormones have actually been found to be major regulators of energy at the mitochondrial level. So it's all tied together. The human body is one and whole, right?
So I have this chart pulled up and I'm going to just walk you through some of these components so that the T4 hormone to get converted into the T3, reverse T3, that can then get into the cell and support that mitochondrial energy, you're going to want to and need those nutrients.
So similar nutrients that you need for proper mitochondrial health iron, iodine, tyrosine, zinc, selenium, vitamin E B2, B3, B6, C, D, and micronutrient testing again, is best to really check what your cellular level are of those nutrients. Sometimes, you can just supplement with a really comprehensive powder and just see if you feel better.
Not medical advice. I can't possibly know what's going on with your medical history. So in anything on this channel, it's just, uh, just tips and for personal advice, see our clinic. Then factors that can increase the conversion of T4 to reverse T3.
You can see lists of there is stress, trauma, and low-calorie diets that can negatively impact energy, inflammation, toxins, infection, liver, kidney dysfunction, and then certain medications too. I've talked in other videos of Mytavin; M Y T A V I N, that you can look up and see what possible negative nutrient side effects your medications might be having on you to help piece together the puzzle a little bit.
And then the nutrients needed to get those hormones into the cell are listed on the bottom right there. So vitamin A, zinc, and exercise can help support those hormones, actually getting to where they need to go. Right above that, you see the factors that can increase the conversion of T4 to T3, which are the selenium and zinc nutrients.
And then above that factors that could inhibit proper production of thyroid hormones would be stress and infection and trauma and fluoride and toxins. So heavy metals and auto-immune diseases like celiac disease. So thyroid health is really a deep topic, but I hope this shines a little bit of light for you.
Cut out the caffeine to try to improve your sleep
And then number three way to increase energy with nutrition is to cut out the caffeine to try to improve your sleep. And I know some of you might be thinking, that caffeine doesn't affect my sleep. I can drink coffee at 6:00 PM and my sleep is fine.
And you might still want to do like a one to two-week caffeine holiday because you might be surprised by how subtly that may still be affecting the depth of your sleep and just see if that helps with your energy. So even just a week would be great. don't go cold Turkey. You're probably going to get headaches if you've been drinking a lot of caffeine, so kind of taper it down.
You could switch to decaf tea which I have here just from a filtered straw. That's how I drink my tea. I also have heard of people and I've done this myself, switch from coffee to like yerba mate in the morning.
Yerba Mate still has caffeine, but it could kind of be a tapered approach. You just like the taste of the coffee, which I also totally get. You could do half decaf, half regular taper down that way, and just see how much better you might be sleeping.
You might notice that you can start going to bed at the same time every night. And you wake up at the same time in the morning without an alarm and also try to get into a rhythm, trying to support your body in that rhythm by trying to go to bed at the same time. Cause you'll find once you do this, it will become easier.
And then certainly as it's very obvious, right? If we are getting adequate sleep, we're going to notice an improvement in our mood and our energy. One thing about caffeine that I want to show you is this image here.
And before we talk about this chart, I do want to make sure you understand that coffee is not bad food. It's actually very rich in antioxidants. There are a lot of health benefits to it.
It can actually be the main source of antioxidants, which are like disease-fighting nutrients, and some of these diets. But if it's negatively impacting sleep, certainly sleep is such a priority. So if we look here, you can see if you have one cup of coffee, about a hundred milligrams of caffeine at 9:00 AM. One at 12:00 PM, one at 3:00 PM. You still have about 70 milligrams.
So about three-quarters of a cup of coffee is in your system by the time, it's 11:00 PM for bedtime. And you still have a little bit of caffeine in your system when you wake up at 6:00 AM, so sure you might be overriding it, but again, it might be impacting the quality of your sleep. So one to two weeks of caffeine holidays.
See how you feel start reintroducing it and everybody's different. So just intuitively listen to your body and listen to how that's influencing you. So the three things we have was support in your mitochondria. Support your thyroid and then support your sleep.
Again, schedule an appointment if you want to work with us. We do accept some health insurances, which it's very exciting. Some of our clients get full coverage, or you can just download our free guide on five ways to improve gut health.
Thank you And I hope you have a great rest of your day.
If you'd like to explore any of this information further or obtain an individualized nutrition plan, you can schedule an initial appointment at our clinic using the link below.
We also take insurance and some of our clients get full coverage, which is great.
Or you can just start by downloading our FREE GUIDE: 5 Ways to Improve Gut Health.